Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bonfire season begins!

Bonfires! One of the best parts of summer. Or March. Since we had our first bonfire of the season this past weekend I thought it would be a good opportunity to document the buidling of our fire pit. Last spring, our first outdoor project was the installation of a fire pit in our back yard. Because a home isn't a home without an outdoor fire pit. And oh man, did we enjoy it. And enjoy it we shall continue to do. So here we go! 

Here is what the back yard looked like in early April of 2011, with a bit of snow still hanging around:

Left side of yard
Right side of yard
And then freshly constructed, Hubby is hanging out in the background enjoying the new view:

From the other side of the yard, obvi.
Close up!
Here is what this project required:
  1. 36 Retaining Wall Blocks  - at $.89 a pop this came to a grand total of $32.04
  2. 2 bags of river pebbles - at $2.29 a bag
Grand Total - $36.62 + tax, otherwise known as FRIGGIN' CHEAP.

This is how it went. Our home's previous owner had planted two cutie-patootie little pines in the back yard before she moved out. One was located right where we wanted a fire pit, and the other just a few feet over (you can see them in the above shots if you squint). They were nice and all, but we knew we wanted a garden and a place to hang out by the fire. In the end, pines trees just weren't what we were going for. So we posted a few pictures on craigslist and offered them up for free - the only catch was they had to be dug up. Immediately a gentleman in the neighborhood called and came to get them. And apparently they were nice pines, because he couldn't believe we would give them away. To each, their own!

Meanwhile, we drove over to the Menards (to which we are pretty faithful to, but only because its sooo close) and found our retaining wall blocks with a slight curve to them, perfect for making a circle - if you will. We choose the color we liked, created a test circle in the lumbar yard and that was about it. Then we loaded all 36 of those bad boys in to our little Lancer and then did the low-rider 2.5 miles back our house. 

We arranged the bricks in a circle, three bricks high, and then poured the two bags of pebbles in. That's it! We didn't even dig up the dirt. No point, since the pebbles would kill it. 

Then it snowed again. But eventually, summer came and we had more bonfires than we could count on our hands and toes! And our back yard eventually looked something like this:

But maybe, we are getting a head of ourselves a bit...

Project "Recruit your friends and family to help you build a fence" shall come at another time. 

So, tell me, what projects do you have planned for this summer? Or do you have any outdoor projects you are proud of that you have already done? I want to know all about them!


  1. That's a nice looking pit! In fact, I think I'll build one at my new place, too. Right now Christina and I are building raised beds for our first adventure in gardening.

  2. Oh! So exciting! I am trying to get Chris to do a guest post on the beds he built for us last year. We are looking to add a third bed this year, so I may just have to document the construction that way!